Staying at the St Regis Singapore is akin to being a star performer in a theatre of beauty and culture. Head to the Technogym, 24 hours of course and with full-glass windows looking out to the pool, and there is a sculpture, real of course, by the door.
Elsewhere, there are two Boteros, by the gal’s hot-favourite Colombian sculptor Fernando Botero (the last one she saw was in Cartagena, the next one will probably be in Miami in a couple of months’ time).
I see in this Weekend FT’s How To Spend It that Chopard co-president and artistic director Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele is also a Botero fan (I love all those oversized women he does, she says).
This is the same lady who a few days ago left a ring worth US$1.5 million in a washroom at the ballroom of one of Hong Kong’s most famous luxury hotels and when she came back seven minutes it was gone…
Out by the St Regis’ pool there is a black statue of a man, kneeling on a silver cushion which in turn is set on a snail-shaped stone, It looks like a Botero but it is by Li Chen.
Even the pool, on a second floor terrace, is a work of art. It is about 90 feet by 12 feet, with water gushes along the far length, which is bordered by three-foot greenery in front of a ten-foot white glass wall. Around the pool are shallow areas, four inches at most, in which sit 16 loungers.
Lily, the pool manager, takes off her grey shoes, rolls up the bottoms of her grey trouser legs and wades around replacing exactly-rolled, set-at-an-angle towels. Some guests, not surprisingly, stay there all day.
But others, like the gal, have work to do in this superb luxury hotel. Of the 299 rooms, the Specialty Suites (Knickerbocker, Manhattan and Metropolitan) are big draws because of all the perks that come with them. All the rooms, designed by Trisha Wilson’s Wilson Associates, are stunningly beautiful.
There is acres of French Breche de Benou marble that, to be honest, sometimes looks like cuts of meat in a butcher’s shop. But somehow it goes with soft colouring of bed-throw and sofa and cushions.
This is the kind of hotel where the freestanding bathtub comes with bath salts and a loofah, and where everything you use is replenished.
There are others as well as your correspondent who hate the thought of ‘butlers’ but these personal assistants somehow never seem to intrude, but are always there when you want them (like how to work a little remote-control zapper to open the curtains…)
It is a very thoughtful hotel. The minibar is glass-fronted, so you can easily see what is within – and, by the way, the contents come free with the Specialty Suites.
This is a hotel that has the reading material a polysyllabic guest wants, like the Financial Times as well as Singapore Tatler, and heavy hardback tomes on Chinese art and Leonardo da Vinci.
It is owned by an erudite local whose wife helped with the look and the art of it all. Yes, one likes a hotel with personality, and passionate personalities behind it.
And some of those key players miraculously appeared as the gal, and her reliable Rimowa, were carefully put in a Bentley to purr all the way back to the airport.